By Stef Mcdonald
Updated August 12, 1998 12:00 AM
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In the Aug. 21 issue of PEOPLE, actress and singer Maria Conchita Alonso reveals she has battled a decade-old struggle with bulimia. “All my life I’ve had a weight problem,” Alonso, 44, tells PEOPLE. Alonso, who will be seen in a TBS TV movie remake of “High Noon” this month, said she would vomit every couple of days and then a couple of times a day. “To calm my nerves, I would eat. Then, feeling anxious, I would throw up,” she says. “I had no idea there was a disease called bulimia. I thought, ‘This is so cool. I can eat something and then throw it up! Wow.’ I had no idea it could hurt me.” Hurt her it did. In 1986 she sought medical treatment after tearing a hole in her esophagus. Her last relapse was in 1995, while she was starring on Broadway in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” By talking publicly about her struggle, she says she hopes to help the more than 100 million people in the U.S. who also suffer from the eating disorder. “You feel relieved when someone else knows about the problem.”